How to Make Tapioca – The Brazilian Gluten-Free “Pancakes”

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So, one of our staff members is from Brazil and we have the pleasure of trying many Brazilian treats on a daily basis.

We are very lucky! She has made us the “brigadeiros” (condensed milk and chocolate balls), “pão de queijo” (Brazilian cheese bread, click here to see our recipe), “bolo de milho” (corn cake), and now tapioca! Oh, this last one is really something else!!

The “tapioca” is known as the Brazilian gluten-free pancakes or crepes or even omelette, but allow us to tell you that “tapioca” is none of those things. It doesn’t have eggs or milk in it, so it could not be an omelette or crepes.

Tapioca is made of the starch extracted from the cassava root. The cassava plant is native to Brazil, where it is known as “mandioca” and its starch is referred to as “pouvilho”. In the United States the starch is called tapioca, but if you are ever in Brazil, you will know that tapioca is the pancake looking meal they make with the starch of cassava and not the starch!

Check out the cassava root below!


In Brazil you can buy the hydrated starch to make your tapiocas in 3 minutes and we heard you can get them in the US as well, but we have never tried it, so we can’t tell how good it is. If you want to try it, one of the companies that sell hydrated tapioca is US Tapiocas. (If you decide to try it, let us know your opinion)

So, as Brazilians use this hydrated starch, it’s much easier and faster for them to prepare their tapioca, but if you can’t find it, we will teach you how to hydrate your tapioca starch and make your tapiocas!


  • 3 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 25ml water
  • salt (just a pinch)


This amount of ingredients is for 1 disc only! So, with that being said, put the tapioca starch in a bowl, add the water and mix it with your hands until it gets crumbly and moist.

Next, sift this mixture, so it will be thinner and less crumbly as a snow powder 🙂

Finally, add the salt.

Hydrated starch

Now, that you have your hydrated starch, all you have to do is make your tapioca “pancake” and we will tell you how!


  • Place a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.
  • Pour your hydrated tapioca onto the frying pan and spread it carefully using the back of a spoon making an even layer. Ensure there are no holes or cracks.
  • Cook for 1–2 minutes, or until the heat sticks the grains together to form a pancake.
  • Flip it and cook the other side for 1 minute.
  • Finally, add your filling and close it! Add the filling of your choice, it tastes good with anything! Cheese, coconut flakes, chocolate, fruits, meat, poultry, fish, eggs, etc. The one you see below is with caramel!

Hope you like it as much as we do! Let us know.


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